By Patti Wilson, Contributing Editor
As of this writing, Vice President Biden has been elected president of the United States. President Trump is “lawyered up,” arranging recounts and filing lawsuits. Discarded, uncounted mail-in ballots have been found in dumpsters, ditches and the trunks of vehicles heading for Canada. It is reported that thousands of deceased citizens have voted! It’s a royal mess.
This is an opinion editorial and these thoughts are my own. I have a few that have been gnawing on me for a while, so here they are. I don’t think they will offend anyone, regardless of party.
We are all painfully aware that the past five years have been a great stewpot of name-calling, misguided Tweets and childish behavior. Most of the mainstream news media doesn’t even hide the fact that they report biased, inaccurate news. Did anyone see the horrible first presidential debate? I was embarrassed for the participants and went to bed early.
I started my education in a one-room country school in Seward County, Neb. It was located across the section from my home. It was one of the greatest times of my life. An unfortunate furnace fire prompted the closure of my favorite-ever place. Subsequently, my parents elected to send me to Catholic school in the next town north for the duration of my schooling. I am sure they thought they were doing the right thing.
Thus began the great marathon of “Riding a School Bus.” When you are little, you sit in the front of the bus, behind the driver, who can hear all the conversations. No problems.
My bus was big, I thought it approximately a quarter-mile in length. I rode 1.5 hours each way. It was dark most mornings when I loaded, and approaching dark at night when I got off. This is a fact.
By the time I was 10 years old, I had made my way to the middle of the bus, where I could hear the “big boys” conversing in the rear seats. They used language that I had never heard! I had no idea what these words meant, but I knew my mother had a bar of Ivory Soap at home that she would be glad to shove into my mouth if I ever dared to utter them.
In the past few years, I have heard members of our U.S. Congress use these same words in public, sometimes leading chants, as to what we can do to our President. Think “Squad.”
These are our elected officials; we are supposed to look up to them. They are using language reserved for childish boys on the back of very long school buses, and I will not get over it. It seems the “F” word has become an accepted part of our vocabulary. What if someone had used it or the “N” word, referring to our previous president? They might have been incarcerated or even crucified for political incorrectness. We need to do the impossible and back up. Let’s get some class back into our lives.
About our need to know everything about everyone, all the time, instantaneously – I refuse to participate. Tweets, Snapchats and Facebook are devouring our time, as a population. Many of them are no more to be believed than gossip around the proverbial water cooler. Social media is downright dangerous in the wrong hands.
Few things rankle me worse than a stranger tapping me on the shoulder at the grocery store, telling me stuff I don’t know about my own family. They have read about various family members on Facebook and want to share their thoughts. Apparently, these folks have nothing better to do than snoop.
This mindset seeps into everything in our lives. Many people think themselves experts on politics and government; if they can vote, they get to express their daily opinion on all issues.
Once we elect our governance, we need to put our shoes on in the morning, go outside and do our jobs. Our elected officials need to be allowed to do theirs. Our insistence on butting in arises from the instantaneous opinions derived from use of our internet and cell phones.
A lot of government issues are none of our business, stemming from the fact that we as a population are not educated experts on every single issue. We mostly are worker bees and need to accept that there is nothing wrong with simply going to work and doing our jobs well.
Let’s get over it.
When Can the Working Class Come out of Hiding?
On October 15, 2020, someone torched a combine, two semi-trucks and trailers loaded with corn, a tractor and a grain cart in a cornfield near Sutton, Neb. The damage amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The combine had carried two Trump flags. The following morning, phone lines in our area were buzzing; we are no longer safe on our own property. Was this the work of Antifa, or the guys in the back of the school bus? As of now, we don’t know. The world has changed for the worse in the past five years; it seems respect for others is dead. This is the worst kind of bullying I can think of.
I enjoy the old TV show, Monk. It is about an obsessive-compulsive detective struggling for a normal life. In the program is a Barney Fife-type character named Randy Disher. He is a loyal and honest deputy, a hopeless nerd whom everyone finds easy to laugh at. In one episode, someone asks him how he can stand the ridicule and function normally; he must hurt badly. Disher replies by saying that, yes, it used to hurt. But he was changed one night when he was called to the scene of a horrible auto accident. On the license plate of a wrecked vehicle, he saw the words “Happiness is a Choice.”
Don’t lose the importance of the analogy. The wreck is 2020, Disher is us, and the message on the license plate is the responsibility we have to take care of our own needs. We all make difficult choices in our lives, and I cannot think of anything harder than deciding to be happy. Life just beats us down in too many ways. But, if we are going to be productive people with meaningful lives, we need to put our shoes on in the morning, go outside and work at the life we chose. And we need to feel good about it.
Enjoy your family, your cattle, your farms, ranches and faith. This is still America and that is the one thing to which we are legitimately entitled.
Afterthought: I am remiss to be totally negative about all things. Some good came from the dreaded school bus. I read more books on that bus than anyone in my class, perhaps anyone in the whole school system – literally hundreds. It enabled me in later life to become a writer. My obsession with cattle grew as I kept close tabs on every cow herd along that miserable bus route. I found them all fascinating. I expanded my vocabulary and learned how to keep my mouth (mostly) shut. There is good to be found in almost every uncomfortable situation.